I was feeling curious how Robie Creek’s half compares to most half marathons in finishing times. It was just as hard as they promised -so, I’ve been wondering how that translates into what a normal half marathon might be like in terms of time — so I googled the average winning times and average times for half marathons to see what I could learn.

At Robie this year, the overall winner – a male, won in 1:21:26.
What’s an average overall winning time for a half? 1:08

The female winner won in 1:31:40 this year.
What’s the average overall winning time for a half? 1:19

I heard some of the other runners say that they felt Robie adds an additional 10 – 15 min to your overall time in comparison to results they’d achieved on less challenging courses (aka – without Adalpe Summit) 

I wonder if I could do a regular half around 2:10 or so? I have a half on my schedule in July. Maybe I’ll get a chance to find out what I can do. I wonder if the average Idaho temperature being closer to 95 degrees in July will wipe out the benefit of avoiding the giant hill? ha ha! I guess I’ll just have to get out there and see what happens. That’s the only way to know.

My buddy, D has a PR in the half of 2:11. She ran Robie this year in 2:21 — so it does seem, at least for my pal that the 10 min. thing was about right. Last year was her first time doing Robie and she did it in 2:25, just a few months after her 2:11 PR.

Another pal has a PR in the half of 1:58. She ran Robie this year for a PR (for Robie – this was her 4th or 5th) of 2:05. Her first shot at Robie was a 2:39. Her second shot was 2:23 I think and I “think” last year was 2:08.

I wonder if I’ll be able to shave much off of my 2:20 from this year if I get the chance to race the hill again next year? I’d be pretty stinking proud if I could shave even 5 minutes off my time. I was only expecting to achieve a 2:30 – 2:40 this year, so I was incredibly surprised and happy when I did better than expected.

I did learn a newbie lesson about proper seeding at the start line. I didn’t really understand before since the only two races I’ve done in the past two years were really small ones (less than 200 people.) Robie had over 2,400.

I started 3/4 of the way to the back — and ended up paying for it with a penalty of 1 min and 45 seconds on my gun time. It was also so frustrating to have to dodge all the walkers, chatters, etc going UP that hill for 8.4 miles – especially at the start – for the first 3 miles.

Going downhill wasn’t much better. I passed 160 runners going down and it was very hard to control my body and keep from falling on that crazy terrain with people going very slow on the downhill and blocking the path when my legs wanted to relax and just GO!

It would have been easier to have put myself in the proper start spot and avoid all the zig zag, weaving I had to do during the race. Sometimes, people would stop running and just take their walk break smack dab in the middle of the path!!! I’ve always read you’re supposed to head off to the far side to do any walk breaks, so I thought that was a little bit rude of the other runners. Other times, I noticed people would run in groups of two – four and it was nearly impossible to get by since it was a narrow, mountain road.

I had an awesome experience at Robie!!! I’m seriously thrilled beyond words that I got to participate! But, I think this newbie learned a thing or two as well.  Hopefully next year I won’t have a 50K waiting for me one week later. I’d love to actually run all out and see what I can do out there! I never felt any pain at the race. I really stayed in control and even the last 3 miles when I was seeing about an 8 min – 8:30 pace, I didn’t push at all. I just cruised it in until the final .10. I just let gravity pull me along and relaxed. I kept thinking, “This would be kind of fun to push right now.” but held back.”

I think Adalpe is already calling to me for 2011.  I will teach that mountain who’s boss – and this time around I want to take Bertha with me for the ride!!  With Chocolate Milk running it — that hill had better look out. 

All I have to say is — I have a whole new respect for that hill! I’m still hobbling!!!

Leave a Reply